Japan logs first half-year trade surplus since Fukushima nuclear disaster

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Tokyo | Published: July 25, 2016 10:50:35 AM

Japan posted its first half-year trade surplus since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster...

A sharp drop in oil and gas prices took pressure off Japan's trade balance, but exports still struggled to make headway with a sharp rise in the yen weighing on profits among some of Japanese biggest firms. (Reuters)A sharp drop in oil and gas prices took pressure off Japan?s trade balance, but exports still struggled to make headway with a sharp rise in the yen weighing on profits among some of Japanese biggest firms. (Reuters)

Japan posted its first half-year trade surplus since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, after the accident sent the country’s energy import bills soaring, data showed today.

The world’s third largest economy logged a January-June surplus of 1.8 trillion yen (USD 17.06 billion), against a 1.69 trillion yen deficit in the same period last year, the finance ministry said.

A sharp drop in oil and gas prices took pressure off Japan’s trade balance, but exports still struggled to make headway with a sharp rise in the yen weighing on profits among some of Japanese biggest firms.

The six-month surplus was the first since the July-December 2010 period, the ministry data showed.

The Japanese economy, which was already struggling at that time, was hammered by the quake-tsunami disaster that sparked the accident at Fukushima.

The nuclear accident, the worst since Chernobyl in 1986, forced the shutdown of atomic reactors in resource-poor Japan, which turned to thermal power plants and pricey fossil fuel imports to keep the lights on.

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